In Acts we see the Lord time and time again using the early disciples to heal the sick miraculously and cast out demons as irrefutable evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. As a result, within a couple of generations in Acts the gospel was taken to the ends of the known world.
But today missions is practically unrecognizable when compared to missions in Acts. Traditional missions now engages in social and humanitarian good works to draw Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, and idol-worshippers to our Messiah Jesus. While such good works are indeed noble and should continue, the miraculous works recorded in Acts are noticeably (and sadly) missing.
Unless Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, and idol-worshippers witness miracles that their gods (and beliefs) cannot do, few of them will genuinely in their hearts turn from their gods to our Messiah. Only eye-opening miracles done in the name of Jesus Christ will open their eyes to the truth that Christianity is not simply the religion of the Westerners—not simply one of various world religions from which to choose—like theirs. Only then will we witness them turning to the Messiah in appreciable numbers as we see people turning to Him in Acts.
Of course there are reasons why the important and scriptural dimension of the miraculous is missing in modern missions today, but we do not intend to go into the various arguments here.
But the arguments can be biblically and effectively countered. The critical dimension of the miraculous can in fact be restored to Third World Missions today without causing divisions and disagreements with the body of Christ. Rather, it can be done in a way which fosters reconciliation between the various streams of the Church.
This can be a fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 12:4
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
During these Last Days, the Lord is restoring to His Church the knowledge and understanding of exactly how our Lord Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons in the gospels as evidence that He is the Messiah. When we apply this knowledge for missions in the Third World, the promise of John 14:12 will be fulfilled to help us complete the Great Commission.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing…”
Today the Lord’s disciples can be trained to obey the Lord’s command in Luke 10:9.
“HEAL THE SICK who are there and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you'”.